Deadly Giant African Snail Causes City to Quarantine

Government officials issued a quarantine for part of a city in Florida on Tuesday in a hurry to eradicate a giant African snail, a species that carries parasites.

This 3.5-mile area of Miramar in Broward County, located near Hollywood, will be covered with a molluscicide containing metaldehyde to exterminate any of these snails. Residents can leave the quarantine zone but are not allowed to take any plant-related materials that may have the snail’s eggs. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services mentioned that it is against the law to transfer any giant African land snails or related products, such as soil, plants, compost, or building materials, within or out of the quarantine area without a compliance agreement.

It was confirmed that a giant African snail, which can be up to 8 inches long, was found in the region in June, causing the survey to be amplified.

These snails have been labeled as one of the most destructive species in the world due to their ability to damage agriculture and to harm human life. They carry the rat lungworm parasite which can induce meningitis, and they consume over 500 types of plants. In addition, these mollusks are able to produce up to 1,200 eggs per year.

Florida has already successfully destroyed the snail twice since its initial discovery in 2010, with the most recent effort taking place in Miami-Dade County for 10 years and costing 23 million dollars. This Broward County quarantine is the third one to be imposed in the past year. Lee County on the west coast of Florida had a quarantine due to the detection of these snails in December, whereas Pasco County was quarantined six months prior.